AHL: ha ha, I got a crap interference penalty in a scrum along the boards, and sure enough, the announcers sided with me. Didn't matter though, we killed it off. Lost 2-1, I missed a hip check and the guy set up the winning goal. Had a nice shot in close, but I couldn't put it home. 3 hits, 3 blocked shots.
Four games this week, Sunday and Monday at the same team, then on the road again Friday and home on Saturday.
AHL: Third star, two assists in a 2-0 win. Almost had a shot at an empty net, but I passed by accident. (I didn't have a great shot, and it probably would have been icing if I'd missed.) A grade, 2 hits, drew 1 penalty, blocked 1 shot. +2.
AHL: Second game at Lake Erie. Miserable. 2 hits, -2. We still lead our division by 3 points with 3 games in hand, trail Hamilton by 6 with 1 game in hand for the conference lead.
AHL: One penalty for hitting a guy just a touch too late. A-, 2 hits, 1 blocked shot, 1 takeaway. 2 assists on one shift in the second period, +2 for the game.
AHL: 0 hits. 0 blocked shots. At least I had good shots. Of course, none went in. 1 assist, even. We climbed to within 2 points of Hamilton.
Woo hoo! Called up to Dallas! Third pair and included in special teams (which is kind of odd; I understand the game wants you to get more experience but it would be nice to make you earn one or both honors).
Three games this week: at Carolina, at Atlanta, and home against Detroit. That last one won't be awkward.
We made a trade with Florida, but fortunately it didn't affect pairings.
At Carolina: 21 seconds in, we score. That's a nice return to the NHL. Some rough shifts (including a minus where the goalie lunges out to stop a pass into the zone he doesn't have to play and turns it over), but I got a +1 and an assist late and we held on to win. Much more of a physical presence this time. Lots of good calls for passes (9). We're still way out of the playoff race, though, in 13th.
Stats: 0 G, 1 A, -1, 4 shots, 0 PIM, 6 hits, 2 blocked shots
Result: W 7-4 at Carolina
Grade: A (A+/A/B+)
At Atlanta: A tough defensive struggle, scoreless through two periods ... I have the puck at the point, skating backward, no one is open, I fire a shot at Pavelec ... and the red light goes on. Goal! My first NHL goal, and it gives us a 1-0 lead as well. Later in the period, I fire another one at the net, it's tipped down and in, and we're up 2-0. Unfortunately, my dumbass defensive partner turns the puck over in our end and it's promptly put in the net. 2-1, and I no longer have the game-winning goal, but get the first star nonetheless. (I got an E for scoring my first goal in my 30th game. Hey, I'm a defensive defenseman! Back off.)
Stats: 1 G, 1 A, +1, 3 shots, 0 PIM, 2 hits, 0 blocked shots
Result: W 2-1 at Atlanta
Grade: A (A+/A-/A)
vs. Detroit: ha ha, this one was a bit tough, not just because it was Detroit, but because I was playing against the Datsyuk/Zetterberg line. Halfway through the first, I was a -2. Fortunately, we ended up getting a couple of goals to even the score, and then our pair helped set up the game-winner in the second. Plus I got a hit on Zetterberg ... not sure how he stayed in one place long enough for me to hit him.
Stats: 0 G, 1 A, even, 5 shots, 0 PIM, 2 hits, 0 blocked shots
Result: W 3-2 vs. Detroit
Grade: A (A+/B+/A)
I'm getting much better at calling for passes well. I feel like I know what I'm supposed to do most of the time ... I just don't have the trailer role down. (When there's an odd-man rush and I should be attacking.)
We've pulled within 5 points of 8th-place Chicago.